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Church of St Michael and All Angels, Tower Hamlets

Description: Church of St Michael and All Angels

Grade: II
Date Listed: 27 September 1973
English Heritage Building ID: 206228

OS Grid Reference: TQ3806681583
OS Grid Coordinates: 538066, 181583
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5163, -0.0116

Location: 3 Spey Street, Poplar, Greater London E14 6QP

Locality: Tower Hamlets
County: Greater London
Country: England
Postcode: E14 6QP

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Listing Text

788/19/701 ST LEONARD'S ROAD
27-SEP-73 Former Church of St Michael and All Angels

1864-5 by J W Morris, restored 1901 and 1955, converted into flats c2000.

MATERIALS: Stock brick with a little red and black brick polychrome banding and also polychrome to the heads of the arches. Limestone dressings. Slate roofs.

PLAN: Nave, lower, short chancel, N and S aisles, N and S double transepts, SE tower.

EXTERIOR: This large polychrome brick church draws Early English architecture of the C13 for its details. The most prominent features are the W end, fronting directly on to St Leonard's Road, and the SE tower. The former has a triple-arched entrance with moulded arches and shafts in the reveals, all under polychrome heads. Above these are three straight-sided gables. The W end fenestration has two two-light openings with modern detailing above which is an oculus filled with plate tracery comprising trefoils and quatrefoils. At the corners are angle buttresses. The aisles have lean-to roofs and two-light windows in their W faces. The tower is unbuttressed and has three stages. The largest of these is the belfry stage which has tall, plain paired openings. Above is a short, slate-covered pyramid spire with a gable on each side over a clock face. The E end of the chancel has an E window of three graded lancets. There are paired windows in the lean-to aisles and there is a clerestory with three single light windows per bay. In the angle between the nave and S aisle there is a quarter-round stair turret. Conversion into flats has led to the roofs being interspersed with numerous square skylights.

INTERIOR: The interior has been divided up and filled with multiple flats.


SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Immediately S of the church is a large, former vicarage, built of stock brick with minor details of polychromy in a matching style to the church. To the S of this is a Portland limestone First World War memorial by A R Adams, 1920, depicting Christ blessing a medieval soldier. To the N of the church is a two-storey institute built of stock brick with its gable facing the church. Together these form a group.

HISTORY: The present building was erected in 1864-5 to replace a mission church of 1861. It was restored in 1901 and again in 1955. Now it has been converted into flats. Morris, the architect, is not a well-known name, but was clearly capable of ambitious and impressive designs, as here.

SOURCES: Bridget Cherry, Charles O'Brien and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 5: East, 2005, p 657.
Basil F L Clarke, Parish Churches of London, 1966, p 166.

The former church of St Michael and All Angels is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a High Victorian brick former church (now converted into residential accommodation) in the C13 style with polychrome detailing and a prominent tower which forms a local landmark, in this much-altered area.
* The external interest is high enough to offset the major changes to the interior, which is now deprived of special interest.
* The church, vicarage, institute and war memorial form a coherent group.

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.